Rabbi Noah Weinberg, of Blessed Memory

Rav Noach Weinberg

One of my best friends called me this morning at 6:30 AM to say the Hebrew words that translate: “Blessed is the True Judge”:

We write these words with great sadness and disbelief — our beloved Rosh Yeshiva, HaRav Noach Yisrael Noach ben Yitzchak Mattisyahu Weinberg – passed away this morning, Feb 5/ Shevat 11.

“Reb Noach” changed my life more than any other person. We were not very close, but in many important respects he was like a father to me. He was the founder of the Aish HaTorah College of Jewish Studies, as it’s called officially, otherwise known simply as “Aish HaTorah” or “Aish.” Aish is a system of educational programs, including a full-blown yeshiva for students of all levels in Jerusalem as well as introductory and outreach programs throughout the world based on the premise of getting Jews back to Judaism.

I attended one such program, in Israel, after I emerged from college in 1985 as a puffy purposeless preppy who at least had the good sense to look for meaning, direction and truth. I was a little disappointed to realize, as I did, that Aish HaTorah was actually the vanguard of a whole “movement” — I didn’t want to be part of a movement; I just wanted to move. But I did move, and Aish helped move me, and what I learned and became and, in no small measure, what I left behind have made my life what it is today in virtually every positive aspect of it.

I was not young enough, or at least not in Aish early enough in my life, to be a close student, much less any kind of disciple, of R’ Noach. I don’t think I could have, anyway. I don’t believe we were simpatico that way. But still, personally, R’ Noach taught me plenty. He taught me how to live a life of resolute meaning, how to focus ambition on something greater than oneself, and how to give and give and give.

And though R’ Noach was sick, and I had been anticipating this day for years, and even had a premonition of his passing yesterday, I am very, very sad.

Ron and Rav Noach

And when I found the picture above I realized that I loved R’ Noach more than I perhaps understood until just now; and when I found the next picture in my scrapbook, of him warmly kissing my then-young children as if they were his own (for they were), I understood this even more, and even harder; and I let myself feel and admit that I miss him far more than I ever thought I would when I anticipated this moment, even already.

Originally posted here.

There will be a hesped for Rabbi Weinberg, delivered by Gedolei Yisroel, on Sunday Feb. 8th at 8pm

Yeshiva Ohr Yitzchok
1214 East 15th St. between L & M
Brooklyn, NY
A Woman’s seating section will be available

One comment on “Rabbi Noah Weinberg, of Blessed Memory

  1. Will there be Hespaidim for Rebbi ZaTZa”L on other dates in other locations? (Maybe even in Kew Gardens Hills?)

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